Finding the right caregiver can be one of the biggest decisions you will make for your loved one. Whether you choose an agency with staff or hire privately, it’s important to carefully screen each candidate and check references, credentials and insurance coverage, especially if your loved one has specific medical needs that require a trained professional.
Personal and Family Recommendations
Ask friends and family for caregiver recommendations. Personal referrals can give you some clue as to a person’s competence, compassion and personality. However, they aren’t necessarily a good indicator of certifications, licensure, training or experience. Be sure to carefully interview and fully screen candidates who are recommended, even if they come from friends and family.
Many local home care agencies can help you find a caregiver. Typically, agencies will ask detailed questions about your loved one’s needs to ensure that they can match you with the best person. Agencies will also conduct background checks and provide essential paperwork such as a contract. They can also arrange backup caregivers to cover sick days and vacations.
Direct-hire firms can also be helpful for those who want to find a private caregiver. These companies charge a onetime fee to refer you to potential caregivers. They often also conduct background checks and provide essential paperwork for you to review, including contracts and worker’s compensation insurance coverage. You can also post your own ad in newspapers, online or on bulletin boards.
Search online caregiver directories, classified ads and social media for private caregivers. Look for caregivers who are certified, have a background check and experience working with people with the condition your loved one has. The more specific you can be about your needs, the easier it will be for you to find a caregiver who is a great fit.
Another way to find caregivers is through traditional advertisement, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Post an ad in the paper and on websites that connect job seekers with employers, such as Craigslist or Indeed. Be clear about what you are looking for and include necessary information such as a resume or job description and contact information.
Recruiting in the Community
Participate in community outreach and volunteer activities, such as health or wellness fairs or local job fairs to reach out to community members and create a presence. You can also host an in-home caregiving seminar for seniors and their families to answer questions about home care, benefits of hiring a caregiver and how to do it well.
Once you have a candidate, meet with them to discuss your loved one’s needs, expectations, limitations and likes/dislikes. You may want to walk through a typical week of care with them, hour by hour, so you can get an idea of how they would perform on the job. It’s a good idea to also do a reference check and call previous employers, requesting to talk with their references about the quality of work they did for them, whether they’d hire them again, and how responsive the caregiver was to any requests or concerns. how to find a caregiver